University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1905
Part I ([1905])

Reports concerning Indians in Montana,   pp. 236-248 PDF (6.3 MB)


Page 236

236      REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. 
REPORT OF TEACHER OF PEMBINA SCHOOL. 
PEMBINA, MINN., August 30, 1905. 
This school is In very good condition execpting the interior of the building.
The build- 
ing is celled throughout with hard pine, which, being wet when used, has
since dried and 
shrunk apart so that it is very uncomfortable during cold weather. I recommend
that 
this ceiling be taken off and the building receiled. The doors also need
some attention. 
The enrollment June 30, 1905-------------------------------------42 
Average attendance for year ending June 30, 1905--------------------17 
Probable decrease in enrollment caused by pupils going away to board- 
Ing schools----------------------------------------------------10 
Scholastic population---------------------------------------------40 
The sewerage is satisfactory and the water supply from deep well is sufficient.
Heating 
is by three wood stoves, and lighting by kerosene lamps. 
A storeroom about 14 by 16 and 10 feet high is badly needed, as we are caused
a great 
amount of inconvenience in finding place for provisions and clothing. We
also have 
garden and hay tools, spades, shovels, grindstone, and many other articles
that can not 
be stored in building. At present we have no place in which to store these.
A small 
building that need not cost more than $150 could be constructed so as to
provide room 
for our commissary supplies and also for tools. 
I also wish to call attention to the fact that we are not yet supplied with
storm doors 
and storm windows. In this latitude these are greatly needed. 
CIIAs. EGGERS, Teacher. 
REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN        MONTANA. 
REPORT OF AGENT FOR BLACKFEET AGENCY. 
BROWNING, MONT., August 31, 1905. 
The population of the tribe on this reservation, the Piegan, is 
Males"-----------------------------------------------------1,016 
Females,--------------------------------------------------1,047 
2,063 
Males above 18-----------------------------------------545 
Females above 14---------------------------------------602 
Children of school age (males, 303; females, 261)- --        564 
From inquiry and observation I imagine there has been no improvement in 
the condition of the Indians during the past fiscal year. I have no personal
knowledge of their circumstances prior to March 12 last, the date I assumed
the duties of agent. They certainly have made no improvement since then.
There is but little I can report that is of interest. 
The fencing of the north, east, and south sides of the reservation began
in 
May, 1904, was completed last fall, and a large number of cattle were admitted
to the reservation to be grazed, upon permits- approved by the honorable
Secre- 
tary of the Interior. The funds received from this source were taken up and
accounted for to the Treasury Department for the benefit of the Blackfeet
Indians. Much trouble has been experienced in keeping this fence closed on
the north and east sides. It has been cut in many places, and in others the
staples have been forced from the posts and the wire dropped to the ground.
These depredations have been committed at unfrequented parts of the reser-
vation, several miles from any habitation, for the purpose, it is presumed,
of 
running horses and cattle on and off the reservation. 
The Indians appear to have made but little progress in agricultural pursuits.
I am not altogether satisfied why this is so. Climatic conditions are against
it. 
Late frosts in the spring, which will wither a most promising prospective
crop 
in one night, are discouraging, so much so that white men and intelligent
half- 
breeds have, to a large extent, discontinued the cultivation of the soil.
There 
are exceptional cases in a favorably sheltered locality where the land can
be 
irrigated; good crops can be raised in favorable years. The constant labor
necessary for successful cultivation of crops and the isolation of his ranch
is 
not congenial to the Indian. He is fond of the comradeship of his kind. Unless
they can be induced or forced to take up the cultivation of their lands they
will certainly suffer for something to eat, or else sell their cattle, which
were 
issued to them, with which to purchase subsistence supplies. 
Practically the only outside labor he can obtain is that supplied by the
Indian 
Bureau. The issue of rations to all able-bodied Indians has ceased. Last
year 
labor was affqrded him for a few months constructing the wire fence around


Go up to Top of Page